looked up 0
and loved 1
cathari commented on the word purry
The way my cat gets sometimes. :)
November 24, 2007
cathari commented on the word bling
I could have made the same slip. (Is it sad that I don't even find anything sad about the slip? =P)
November 15, 2007
cathari commented on the word lower 48
"Lower 49" would probably sound right if we were used to it. I'm not sure that it sounds inherently worse than "lower 48".
November 5, 2007
cathari commented on the word fruitage
Spotted in a real magazine article: "The fruitage of the spirit". I wonder whether these free religious magazines hire actual journalists or the articles are just written by J. Random Minister...
cathari commented on the word oprah
Oh, it has truthiness regardless of whether it has truth. ;)
November 2, 2007
cathari commented on the word cheetah
Or she's just looking for lynx to her ancestors.
November 1, 2007
Wasn't she supposed to be named Orpah, from the Bible, and it was misspelled?
My cats race each other a lot. One claims to be a natural cheetah. Then the other says cheetahs never win.
cathari commented on the word defenestrate
Only by selling Windows to Pragueians. (Praguers? Pragueites? Praguesmen? Praguese?)
cathari commented on the word quadriliteral
Heehee. Thank you. :)
cathari commented on the word paladin
Oh, haha. So much for D&D.
I have to admit I have a strong attachment to the phrase due to a (different, actually) game I played when I was younger. It was used in that game to signify a knight serving Light, and specifically one who had undergone trials that he couldn't pass if he wasn't of the right type; so being a Paladin, having passed this test that no one had ever passed before, said a lot about his inner character (which was also borne out by his actions, of course-- but because he was a Paladin and because of what this meant, one knew that those actions were really true to what was inside him, that he really was like that through and through... it was just a lovely and fascinating thought, to me.)
cathari commented on the word mondegreen
I used to hear "Lucy and this guy with diamonds" (I assumed they were getting married.)
"You shouldn't just make up words and then not define them. That's irresponsible." -Tellurian
cathari commented on the word cannon
People who spell this "canon" need to be dragged out in the street and shot. ;)
cathari commented on the word humuhumu-nukunuku-a-pua‘a,
Is "wiki wiki" the word for an editable encyclopedia in Hawaiian? ;)
cathari commented on the word chibi
It means "small" in Japanese. Lately I've been using it as slang for "small child". Ex: "When I was a chibi..."
cathari commented on the word supercalafragalisticexpialladocious
Chained_bear is right. It is misspelled. (I know this because kids used to come up to me when I was a little girl and ask me if I could spell it for them; I'd seen it written somewhere and so I could, and... well, they shouldn't ASK a question if they don't want to hear the answer...)
cathari commented on the word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
That is my favourite long word. :)
cathari commented on the word pinion
I like to reply to birds when they tweet at me, "Yes, but that is your personal pinion."
cathari commented on the word om nom nom nom
Apparently this is Tellurian's new favourite phrase. Last week it was something pretty about the yearning desert of one's skin, but "om nom nom nom" has beaten that one out. ...
cathari commented on the word ink pen
Tellurian: How can "pen" have two syllables?
Me: ...in Japanese, it does?
cathari commented on the word crayon
Possibly. Or maybe I just enunciate more than average (am I really the only one in this area who pronounces "sandwich" as it's spelled?)
See my comment over at this list regarding how to fenestrate things.
What, isn't it pronounced, you know, "cray-on"? I'm pretty sure I've never said it "cray-un"...
Doesn't it usually have connotations of religion, or have I just been infused with too much Dungeons & Dragons?
cathari commented on the word inutile
I'd never thought about that until you told me, but yes. I'm sure knowing a smattering of Japanese is not helping in this regard.
cathari commented on the word utilize
Also, and this is a bit of a more subtle thing, I find myself disagreeing that active voice is truly preferable to passive voice. It's a decent guideline to get at the problem, but the underlying thing that often correlates with active voice making for better sentences is not, in fact, a matter of the verbs-- it's a matter of the nouns.
Instead of "use active voice rather than passive", I would suggest "always make the most important noun in the sentence be the subject." This puts the emphasis of the sentence where it belongs. Of course, this often does correlate to using active voice, but not always.
For instance, I would argue that "the document was signed this afternoon" is better than "the managers signed the document this afternoon" in cases where no one really cares *who* signed it nearly as much as they care that the document has finally been signed. On the other hand, if we were wondering whether it was signed by the managers themselves or by some proxy, the latter would probably be a better sentence. The subject is the focus of the sentence, and as such it should involve the noun that the sentence is meant to tell us about.
I agree with utilizelessness (who I think has acquired a new nickname now) that varying your word choice really isn't about trying desperately for synonyms. It's about finding new ways to describe things, and rearranging your sentences if need be (especially since, of course, you're also supposed to vary sentence structure). "Vary your word choice" is one of those things that might be useful in fourth grade but shouldn't be clung to as the writer becomes more sophisticated, and it's also far less important of a rule than "be simple and clear".
One thing that makes me wince is when beginning writers think they have to keep coming up with new synonyms for "said" in order to vary word choice, and aforementioned synonyms don't exactly fit with what is happening in the story. Small and common words like "said" are, in fact, invisible-- no one will notice if you repeat them, but they sure as heck will notice if you have to resort to "expounded" or somesuch. Some words are simply so common that people don't notice their being repeated; what one wants to avoid repeating is unusual words and especially descriptive ones. I.e. don't describe every blue thing in the story as "azure", and, for that matter, don't tack on "big" before every noun in your description (I once tutored a student who did that, and while "big" is fairly common, it was still noticeable that she had to keep telling us of the bigness of every object in the house. It started to feel like a fairy tale about giants after a while.)
October 31, 2007
cathari commented on the word earworm
I had never heard Popcorn before, and I was so curious I had to go listen to it. Tellurian's reaction was "you want to give yourself an earworm?"
Now that I've played it a few times through, though, I kind of feel bad for my cats, who probably have it now...
cathari commented on the list why-can-t-people-pronounce-these-properly
What about "sammich" for "sandwich"? My friend once interrupted a conversation to praise me for saying this properly. Now I can't stop noticing that everyone else pronounces it wrong. I've never heard "sangwich", though.
cathari commented on the word ekcetra
Is that like nucular?
cathari commented on the word schrödinger
Also an excellent name for a cat.
cathari commented on the word linguistical deafblindness
Oh, I did the same thing in the state spelling bee. Got all the way up to twelfth place, and was so nervous-- and so aware that I couldn't make any sounds such as "um"-- that I spelled "um" in the middle of the word.
I was so sad, because I'd been sick the previous year and hadn't been able to compete, and that year was my last chance to make it to nationals... I knew how to spell "speciesism", I swear. It wasn't even hard! Just "species" with an "ism"! And I knew all the other words that came after my turn, too. Ah, my poor little thirteen-year-old heart was broken...
cathari commented on the word turducken
I am indeed. :)
cathari commented on the word crappucino
I've heard "crappuccino" used, presumably by a coffee aficionado, to describe the really frothy and over-sugared coffees from Starbucks that I like much more than I should.
cathari commented on the word jeez
Wonder if Pete is St. Peter?
--But yeah, I always assumed that words like "jeez" were formed because no one actually wanted to blaspheme, but they wanted to use the useful phrase for that use (not to be used for the other use). So they figured that if they weren't actually saying "Jesus", it wasn't blasphemy, even if that's what they meant. Or perhaps they started to say it and bit it off short because they remembered they didn't want to say it.
cathari commented on the word frobnitz
Frobozz is a real word? My goodness. I'm not sure if I lose word-geek points or programmer-geek points for not knowing that.
No, no. If it were in Pennsylvania it would be Turdhocken, as that sounds more Dutch. And then people would mock it. Which is very like the names of small Pennsylvanian towns indeed.
cathari commented on the word cavalry
seanmeade: You know, I never had trouble with the difference when I was little, until my dad had told me so many times about his own tendency to mix them up that I started mixing them up as well. Confusion can be horribly contagious like that.
cathari commented on the word literally
I think people might actually mean "practically", though I have no insight as to how this mix-up could have happened.
cathari commented on the word canon
Thanks to fandom, many more people know what it means nowadays.
(Or at least I hope they do, rather than having some misguided notion. Fandom has warped far too many words, like "angst"...)
cathari commented on the word dog-whistle
I think "pro-life" may not be a coded term in that everyone knows what it means, but it definitely describes a set of values that are not obvious when you hear it. It means specifically "pro-letting-fetuses-live", not "pro-living-things-in-general". Or even "pro-letting-humans-live", since sometimes it involves legislation that makes it hard to save a mother's life in time. It's specifically pro-not-killing-a-very-specific-thing. More accurately it's just anti-abortion.
"Anti-" is such a negative prefix, though, that even aside from the way "pro-life" is a manipulative phrase-- who wants to imply that they are "anti-life" by contrast?-- I can see why those groups don't want to use it. "Anti-" anything has a sort of restrictive, nasty sound. I suppose they could achieve more clarity by calling themselves "pro-fetus", but even that carries a little bit of the "pro-life" manipulation; no one wants to say they are "anti-fetus" either...
cathari commented on the word dork out
Thank you, seanahan, for mentioning Deanna's inability to read minds, which was irking me the whole way up this thread. :)
On the other hand, it's that very inability which makes her less-than-perfectly useful. It goes like this:
Romulan: We will not tolerate this insult!
Deanna: I sense hostility.
I still wanted to be her when I was little, though. I'm not sure if it was the exotic half-alien thing or the glamorous thing that hooked me.
cathari commented on the word infamous
When I was little, I used to think (based on an extremely vague contextual speculation, I suppose) that it meant you were so bad you would never, ever be a sufficiently upstanding citizen to become famous. Of course, this was before I knew anything about famous people.
October 30, 2007
cathari commented on the list disemvoweled
Tellurian and I seem to have coined "prr" between ourselves in an attempt to better describe the vowel-less rumbly sound a cat makes.
cathari commented on the list opposites-without-commonly-used-opposites
You could fenestrate a computer by installing Microsoft Windows on it, perhaps. Or by throwing it in the window, though that would be bad for a computer.
When a kid hits a baseball out of the park and it goes through someone's window, is it being fenestrated?
cathari commented on the word contranym
What, you mean "transparent" used to mean "someone can easily see how this works"? I would say it has a toehold on contranymity, as a non-opaque item would be harder to see and understand than an opaque one.
cathari commented on the word inflammable
I like to call flame-retardant items "ininflammable". ;)
cathari commented on the word hopefully
Someone's got this on a "meanings have changed over the years" list, and I would rather agree. I think it got co-opted because people did want a single word to mean "I hope that".
If it does more than substitute for "use", why can't anyone point out exactly what it is doing? My boyfriend said the same thing, that he found it useful (utilizeful? =P) and yet was not able to pinpoint/explain what he thought the difference was. I'll believe and embrace the distinction when someone explains to me what it is.
cathari commented on the word compersion
compersion. n. To be happy that someone else is happy. The opposite of jealousy; delight in another's good fortune.
He felt compersion when his daughter won the lead in the school play.
She had moved on, and now felt compersion that her ex-husband was able to remarry.
October 17, 2007
cathari commented on the word sike
That's clever. Reminds me of the shirts we had in my department at grad school: a frog with a little word balloon saying "rhetoric."
Anyone have a list of "words that sound like frogs croaking"?
cathari commented on the word theracence
Annotation: "a type of a priori knowledge that does not involve reasoning and incurs truth." Theracence cannot yield error or falsehood.
cathari commented on the word psyche
On the internet I keep seeing people try to use this in the retro slang sense-- "Psyche!" meaning "Just kidding!"-- but spelling it "Sike", as though perhaps they never understood where the slang came from...
October 16, 2007
cathari commented on the word cilia
I'm going to add Cilla to my list of favourite people names. Thanks, skipvia. :)
cathari commented on the list funny-words-6
I added it just for you. =P
cathari commented on the word mysidian
"of or from Mysidia".
October 15, 2007
cathari commented on the word noesis
Sounds like an internet meme to me. "Oh noesis!"
I don't like Celia the way that I like cilia, though. And while I like Cecilia, I like it for a completely different reason. I think it's all the little i's and l's that are so pretty (and onomatopoeic, actually.)
I've always thought "cilia" would be a beautiful name for a girl-- if it didn't bring protozoa to mind.
cathari commented on the user tellurian
I like your "more about" profile.
Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.
tellurian commented on the user cathari
I love your "more about" profile, too. Really, those are all the things that one needs to know about something: is it beautiful; is it sincere; is it real. And frequently something that is one of those three will also be the other two....
Wordnik is fiscally sponsored by Planetwork NGO, Inc,a California 501(c) (3) non-profit educational organization, EIN #94-3366969.